by Jill King
What is it that you desire most for your children? To feel loved, to make a contribution to society, to walk with God, to become great mothers and fathers, to lead, to serve, to excel, to be popular, to become educated? The opportunities and pressures parents experience in regards to what they can and should be pouring into their children must feel overwhelming at times. As I’ve grown older and have lived out of my parent’s household for several years, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the values they instilled in our family. It went without saying that character is more important than achievement, faith is greater than a moral code, and extending love to others should take precedence in the way we live our lives. I’m fortunate that my mother and father took their roles as parents seriously, always concerned about how we interacted with the world, and made sure we had opportunities to experience it.
Ambitions to rear a child to perceive and understand the world with wisdom from an early age might seem intimidating, but as an adult I can identify the practical steps my parents took to nurse my hunger for it. Do eager parents not send their babies to Sunday school before they can even speak, anticipating the first time their child can articulate “Jesus loves me”? In the child’s early stages of development and exploration, parents also have the opportunity to begin instilling values, which shape the way children view the world and grow in their relationship to it. Here are five things my parents incorporated into my upbringing that I believe helped me to embrace our diverse world and love people from every background. Read more